Italy is a large country in Southern Europe. Together with Greece, it is acknowledged as the birthplace of Western culture. Not surprisingly, it is also home to the greatest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the world. High art and monuments are to be found everywhere around the country. It is also famous worldwide for its delicious cuisine, its trendy fashions, luxury sports cars and motorcycles, diverse regional cultures and dialects, as well as for its many beautiful coasts, alpine lakes and mountains (the Alps and Apennines). No wonder it is often nicknamed the Bel paese (beautiful country).


Not surprisingly, Italian is the language spoken natively by most Italians.

In the Southern part of the country and in the farthest North, local indigenous languages like Venetian and Neapolitan are still the native language of the majority and many other areas like Rome speaks a mixture of Italian and the local language (romanesco in the case of Rome).

English is widely spoken at varied levels of proficiency in the well-travelled touristic areas where it may be used by shopkeepers and tourist operators. In the cities you can often speak English with younger people, aged between 14 and 35: almost everyone has had to take English in school since the 1980s although Italians are likely to revert to Italian as soon as possible. At least the most basic phrases usually stick, and normally there’s at least one person in a group with a decent command of English. On the other hand, senior citizens rarely know English, but they’ll try to help you anyway with gestures or similar words. If you are going to speak in English, it is polite to ask if the person understands English before starting a conversation. Speaking in a foreign language while assuming it will be understood can be considered very arrogant and impolite by many Italians.

(source: Wikitravel)


  1. April 12, 2011 at 5:37 am

    Name: Vincenzoso
    Comment: hello
    i received a mail so i decided to subscribe, nice to meet you
    Country/Location: Italy

    to: vincenzoso
    many thanks for logging to EHSociety. i have palmo-plantar HH and we share the same HH boat. nevertheless, i tried to maintain a level of acceptance about this condition and i try to view it now in a purposeful way.

    pls post your comment or any related story which can relieve you and may help our HH community. there is a specific page from where you are located at, and let us keep our fingers crossed to meet and relate with your circle of HH friends.

    let us keep on enlightening each other. this is one way to reinforce us so that we can extend ourselves despite our condition.


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